Skyline battles the elements, beats Woodinville on the links
March 26, 2013
By Lillian O'Rorke
As the wind and rain swept over the front nine holes of The Plateau Club March 19, the Skyline High School girls golf team carried on until it had Woodinville beaten 286-313.
“They are not complaining with this horrible weather,” said Michael Fleming, the girls’ new head coach.
Fleming also coaches the boys team in the fall and said he has been pleasantly surprised by the girls.
“You know, the guys are in shorts, getting suntans and stuff,” he said. “And, the girls, you know, it’s 38 degrees and stuff, and they don’t complain at all. So, it’s been wonderful.”
With a new coach comes a new style. Practices are different, the players said, with more workshops and attention to detail.
“I have much more intricate practice plans,” Fleming said. “I’m doing more hands-on stuff with the girls, correcting their swings, changing their grips.”
The team is going back to basics, in part, because nearly half of its 13 players are new to the sport this year. This is good news for the team, Fleming explained, because the girls are young and the basics will provide a solid foundation for future seasons. In the meantime, only a team’s top five individual scores are used to calculate the overall result. Skyline has six experienced players: Brya Vowels, Emma Farno, Stephanie Bush, Marie Guenette and Sarah Gaston.
Scoring for Skyline March 19 on the par 36 was Vowels with 49 strokes, Farno with 54, Farris with 59, Busch with 61 and Tori Wehrle with 63.
“I had a few iffy tee shots and some bad putts, but other than that, it was pretty good,” Farno said.
The Skyline junior plays often with her father and uncle, and while going back to the basics in practice can be a little boring, she said, she is learning new techniques. One thing Fleming showed her was loosening her grip when chipping downhill onto the green. On the seventh hole March 19, that’s exactly what she did, landing the ball within easy putting distance.
“I was thinking about keeping my hands softer than I normally do, rather than keeping them tight,” Farno said. “That helped a lot.
“It was a little hard with the wind,” she added. “It kept knocking down your shots and things like that — making them go a lot less farther or making them go too far. It was unfortunate.”
Skyline vs. Bothell
• At Wayne Golf Course
• 3 p.m. March 27
Some of the girls did manage to get one hole in before the rain came. Playing a dry first hole, Vowels followed a solid drive by using an 8-iron to get on the green. She putted it in and birdied the par 4.
“I was planning on two-putting it, but then it went in — I read it right,” Vowels said. “That putting was good. The rest of it kind of went down though … a lot of the green’s holes were on hills today, so they were harder to get into. If you missed it by a little bit, it rolled a lot.”
The course in general, Vowels added, is challenging.
“It’s a good home-court advantage. The other team will come — and we know, like, the little secret spots to aim for on our fairways to be good — but they have no clue,” she said. “It’s a difficult course even for us, and we played it yesterday.”
Vowels is a senior this year. After missing the state championship by three strokes for the past two years, she said it’s her goal to make it this time around.